Samí emerge as state budget winners

Various Samí communities around Norway were celebrating on Wednesday after the government’s proposed state budget for next year granted then a total of NOK 1.2 billion. The government’s goal is to strengthen Samí society. “This is a great gift for us,” Rolf Degerlund, leader of the Samí National Theater in Kautokeino, told state broadcaster NRK. […]

Sami celebrate amid climate concerns

Sami flags flew all over Norway on Thursday as the country’s indigenous people celebrated their own national day. The president of the Sami Parliament complained, though, that many of Norway’s new climate programs ignore Sami interests. Aili Keskitalo stressed in her New Year’s address last month that “powerful forces” have been “working against the Sami.” […]

New Year speeches all addressed suicide

King Harald, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the president of Norway’s Sami Parliament, Aili Keskitalo, all tackled the difficult issue of suicide in their traditional New Year addresses to the nation. King Harald won praise for what was called his “serious, warm, but authoritative” message to the Norwegian people. The monarch, stunned by his own […]

Sparks fly over Finnmark mining

While local elected officials were celebrating with cake, protests poured in over the Conservative state government’s decision on Thursday to finally allow mining operations on a mountain plateau in Finnmark. It’s expected to generate 300 new jobs in the area, but can also disrupt Samis’ reindeer grazing while dumping debris and tailings into the fjord […]

Sami celebrations spanned the nation

Sami flags were flying all over Norway on Tuesday as the country’s indigenous people celebrated their own national day. From Oslo’s City Hall to remote areas of Finnmark, more Sami elebrations were planned than ever before. The vast majority were, not surprisingly, taking place in the northern regions of Norway, where the majority of Sami […]

Sami president hails cultural pride

Norway’s Sami population faces another important year ahead, claimed the president of Sametinget (The Sami Parliament), Aili Keskitalo, in her traditional New Year’s address this week. She led off her speech by hailing a 96-year-old woman for bravely shaking off years of Norwegian indoctrination, and reviving her Sami heritage after 70 years of suppressing it. […]

Joke about Sami backfires

A Sami member of the Conservative Party’s youth organization Unge Høyre has resigned in protest over what he calls an offensive proposal at the organization’s national meeting over the weekend. Others are offended, too. Nils Kristian Winther told state broadcaster NRK he was resigning after another member, Tobias Strandskog of the Hordaland chapter proposed that […]

Sami protest windmill project

Demonstrators led by Sami reindeer herders blocked access to a construction site for what’s been billed as the largest windmill project in Europe this week. They claim the windmills at Storheia on the Fosen Peninsula in Trøndelag will violate the rights of Sami as an indigenous people, along with disturbing the natural environment. The protesters […]

Sami celebrations marred by decline

Norway’s indigenous people, the Sami, celebrated their national day this month amidst reports that their population may again be threatened by decline. State statistics bureau SSB revealed data showing little if any growth in traditionally Sami areas, and risks that population levels will sink. “What’s of most concern is that a large portion of the […]

Colourful opening of Sami Parliament

Two days after the new Norwegian Parliament opened amidst traditional pomp and circumstance in Oslo this week, the country’s Sami Parliament (Sametinget) opened in its own blaze of colour and with the monarch present. Both legislative bodies take their traditions seriously. King Harald V and Crown Prince Haakon were welcomed to Sametinget in Karasjok, Northern […]